Presentation Title: Association Between Early Prescribed Opioid Initiation and Risk of Suicidal Behavior
Author Name(s): Kimberly L. Fine, PhD
Martin E. Rickert, PhD; Lauren M. O’Reilly, BS; Ayesha C. Sujan, MA; Katja Boersma, PhD; Zheng Chang, PhD; Johan Franck, MD, PhD; Paul Lichtenstein, PhD; Henrik Larsson, PhD; Brian M. D’Onofrio, PhD; Patrick D. Quinn, PhD
Abstract: Prescription opioid use has been linked to increased risk of suicidal behavior in adults. However, little research exists examining the role of prescription opioid use on risk of suicidal behavior in children and adolescents. This population is at high risk for suicidal behavior, as suicide is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34. Using healthcare data from Swedish population registers, we aimed to characterize the extent to which exposure to opioids at a young age leads to an increased risk of new onset suicidal behavior, for those with no history of suicidal behavior. Compared to demographically matched non-recipients, young people who initiated prescription opioids had just under three times the rate of subsequent suicidal behavior (HR = 2.64, 95% CI, 2.47-2.81). Compared to their unexposed siblings, young people who initiated prescription opioids had roughly two times the rate of subsequent suicidal behavior (HR = 1.83, 95% CI, 1.67-2.01). Finally, compared to young people initiating prescription NSAIDs, young people who initiated prescription opioids had only 19% relatively greater rates of suicidal behavior (HR, 1.19, 95% CI, 1.11-1.27). These results suggest the association between prescription opioids and suicidal behavior may be driven by the underlying pain indication.